The only mud sticking to Rotorua's inaugural Mudtopia Festival was on the thousands of people who turned up to get down and dirty for the three-day event.

The festival, which finished today, has been deemed a success by organisers, who say the general vibe was one of "amazement".

The fan-favourite was the Mud Arena, full of inflatable games, slides and obstacles covered in mud, as well as the Mud Run, and Mud Games Zone.

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Festival-goers were also able to relax with mud-therapy treatments at the Mud Day Spa or with a drink in the bar area.

Saturday night's main concert was headlined by Australian electronic act Peking Duk and Kiwis Shapeshifter.

The event attracted controversy earlier this year when it was revealed $90,000 worth of South Korean mud had been bought.

Following a public backlash, Rotorua Lakes Council backtracked on the plans and the transaction was cancelled.

Tauranga's Krissy Whitley and Paddy Smith didn't know about the festival until they won a three-day pass on the radio.

"We didn't know what to expect but it's been awesome. We will definitely come back next year and bring the kids. We've had an absolute ball," Whitley said.

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"The weather has been a big part of that, and the concert was awesome," Smith added.

Whitley said the concert was "like a little Rhythm and Vines".

"The whole vibe has been one of family fun."

Roanne Sutherland got free tickets through her work.

"I would come back next year, it's been good fun."

Mudtopia Festival director Scott Rice said the inaugural event had seen thousands through the gates.

"The event has gone really, really well. The Mud Arena on Saturday was rammed to the gunwales and I overheard people leaving the concert saying how much they had enjoyed it.

"The concert numbers were probably a little lower than expected, but still in the thousands. Overall we were really happy with the number of people who came along over the three days - the weather helped."

Rice said he did not yet know the final attendance number, or what percentage of those paid for their tickets.

"This will all be determined in the post-event review. The first time for any event is always the hardest one but I think seeing in flesh the demographic, ages and layout will help with changes and improvements for next year's event.

"Overall I think the general vibe from people was one of amazement."

Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick said visiting Boryeong mayor Kim Dong-il deemed the event a success.

"We saw families just loving it. That's what mattered to me, a family fun day. I look forward to reviewing the festival now it is over."

The festival was inspired by South Korea's internationally renowned Boryeong Mud Festival, which has been running for 20 years.

Bay of Plenty police district command centre Senior Sergeant Bill Fisher said locals were well behaved on Saturday night, with no issues arising from Mudtopia concert goers or people taking part in Crate Day.